Serious bipartisan negotiations are underway in the Senate over new gun laws to prevent mass shootings like those at a Texas elementary school and a Buffalo grocery store, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Ct.) said Sunday.
The Democrat said some states have taken the initiative to enact stricter gun restrictions in the 10 years since the killing of 20 students and six staff at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School, but added that federal laws are needed and he hopes that “this Sometimes is different.”
“I see. Every time after one of these mass shootings there are talks in Washington and they never succeed. But there are more Republicans interested in talking about finding a way forward this time than I’ve seen since Sandy Hook,” Murphy said “This Week” from ABC News
“I could end up heartbroken. [But] I now sit at the table with Republicans and Democrats in a more meaningful way than ever before. Certainly a lot more Republicans are willing to talk now than they were after Sandy Hook,” he said.
Murphy, who delivered an impassioned speech in the Senate on Tuesday – after 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos butchered 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas – said it was “inconceivable” to him that the Congress did not take action on guns after the killings in Newtown, Ct.
“The pace of everyday gun violence has escalated dramatically over the past two years,” he said.
Sen. Dick Durbin, the second most senior Democrat in the Senate, said he hoped colleagues involved in the bipartisan talks would “do the right thing”. He added that he also noticed a change in the chamber prompted by the horrific murders of young Texas students.
“I can’t say for sure, but I can tell you I sense a different feeling from my peers after Uvalde,” Durbin continued CNN’s State of the Union.
“Do the right thing and do as much as you can,” he told his colleagues involved in the talks.
“And let’s come together on a bipartisan basis, if we can, and show the American people that what happened in Uvalde wasn’t wasted,” the Illinois Pole said.
Though the Senate is on recess for the Memorial Day holiday and isn’t scheduled to return to work until June 6, Murphy-led Democrats are speaking with their Republican counterparts to reach a common ground on gun action.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he stands ready to support gun safety legislation in the wake of the Texas mass killings.
GOP Sens. John Cornyn of Texas, Susan Collins of Maine and Thom Tillis of North Carolina met with Murphy.
Murphy has also teamed up with Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who, as governor of the Sunshine State, signed into law in 2018 raising the legal age to purchase a gun from 18 to 21.
Murphy said the Florida law, passed after the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 people, could be a model for the Senate.
“Florida law is good law. And it’s a signal of what’s possible, right? It has coupled changes to Florida’s gun laws with some significant investments in mental health and school safety,” Murphy said on ABC
The senator said he spoke to Scott last week to learn more about the legislation and how Republican state legislators opposed the National Rifle Association, which opposed the measure.
“So this kind of legislation is certainly a model,” Murphy said.
“It is certainly something that would make a huge difference and make many families and children in this country feel safer and more secure if passed at the national level.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has announced he will urge the chamber to vote on two House-passed legislation to expand background checks on gun purchases.
In the meantime, he encourages senators to seek compromise.
The renewed attempt to debate gun control measures was sparked by outrage over the killing of 19 high school students and two teachers in Texas on Tuesday, as well as the massacre ten days earlier by 18-year-old Payton Gendron, who shot dead ten black people at a Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo.
Both shooters used AR-15 style assault rifles, as did Adam Lanza at Newtown and Nikolas Cruz at Parkland.
https://nypost.com/2022/05/29/serious-senate-bipartisan-talks-on-gun-control-underway-murphy/ Serious bipartisan Senate talks underway on gun control: Murphy